Uhuru Secures Partnership to Deliver Affordable Housing Units
Kenya and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) yesterday reached a USD 13 billion deal that will ensure delivery of 100,000 affordable housing units. The agreement, which will be a partnership of Kenya and UNOPS, was witnessed by President Uhuru Kenyatta at the sidelines of the ongoing 73rd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.
The deal, if fully implemented, is set to facilitate the realization of President Kenyatta’s affordable housing promise to Kenyans as part of his Big 4 Agenda for his last term in office.
The President intends to have over 500,000 Kenyans owning their homes by the time he will be leaving office in 2022.
“Our Affordable Housing Program seeks to implement interventions that will ensure that developers can produce housing units at scale, homebuyers can access affordable financing facilities that allow them to buy homes, and that the enabling environment facilitates innovation, embraces technology, and commercial arrangements that can bring down the cost of construction,” President Kenyatta noted as he witnessed the signing of the agreement.
He further elaborated the need of focusing on financing and investment frameworks that will unlock private sector financing the affordable housing program.
While welcoming any other future initiatives and partnerships, President Kenyatta assured UNOPS that the country expected three times economic growth for every single penny invested in the projects.
UNOPS Executive Director Grete Faremo, on her part, expressed her support for the agreement saying that the programme will ensure the standards of living in Kenya will improve without straining the country’s resources.
“UNOPS has made affordable housing a core focus of its Social Impact Investment Initiative. We are proud to be working with the Government of Kenya to facilitate new kinds of investment in Kenya’s affordable housing sector and to help make its housing priorities a reality,” said Ms. Faremo.
UNOPS Social Impact Investment Initiative is designed to make development project healthy in a bid to attract funding from the private sector. Projects selected for implementation are taken through a rigorous assessment to ensure they posse positive social and economic impact and with better returns.
“We know that developing economies will need large-scale investments to build sustainable infrastructure and achieve their sustainable development plans,” Ms. Faremo added.
She added that the programme could open new opportunities to accelerate achievement of Sustainable Development Goals, by downscaling the investment risk of development activities.